April 8th, 2007
I read Mark Shuttleworth’s post on DRM today. He makes some good points about how DRM doesn’t work, and he’s right. Thing is, he and other DRM-haters seem to think digital distribution is the future. It’s not.
What ever happened to physical ownership? You can’t have that with digital distribution (and in some ways, DRM). When I own something I want to hold in my hands. If you buy a movie online and your hard drive breaks down, which any hard drive will ultimately do, you don’t own the movie anymore. You can probably get the movie back again, but that’s expensive for the distributor and what if they refuse, or go out of business? I’m sure plenty of people would be fine with this, but it won’t become a popular idea until all types of people jump in.
In the end, a DRM-laden Blu-Ray disk is still better than any movie I’d download. When I own something I don’t want it stuck on my computer, I want it to exist independently, and I’m sure plenty of other people feel the same way whether they know it or not. Unless digital distribution finds a way to seperate itself from a computer (although any efforts to do so today would be hindered by DRM) it will never succeed. Ownership is about freedom, and both DRM and digital distribution don’t offer that.
Update: I wrote a followup.